Occult Hepatitis B (OBH) in Clinical Settings


Seyed Moayed Alavian 1 , Seyed Mohammad Miri 1 , F. Blaine Hollinger 2 , Seyed Mohammad Jazayeri 3 , *

1 Baqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, IR Iran

2 Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, USA

3 Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, [email protected], IR Iran

How to Cite: Alavian S, Miri S, Hollinger F, Jazayeri S. Occult Hepatitis B (OBH) in Clinical Settings, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 12(8):6126. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.6126.


Hepatitis Monthly: 12 (8); 6126
Published Online: August 25, 2012
Article Type: Review Article
Received: May 20, 2012
Accepted: July 8, 2012


Context: Occult hepatitis B (OHB), or persistent HBV DNA in patients who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative, is a recently recognized entity. In an attempt to summarize the issues, this review presents an overview of the current proposed hypothesis on the clinical relevance and also updates the knowledge on the classification of OHB in different clinical settings.

Evidence Acquisition: OHB could be found in different population and clinical backgrounds including: viral co-infections (with either human immunodeficiency or hepatitis C viruses), HBV chronic carriers, dialysis patients, transplantation settings and certain clinical situations (named in here: special clinical settings) with no apparent distinguishable clinical parameters.

Results: The exact magnitude, pathogenesis, and clinical relevance of OHB are unclear. Even the possible role exerted by this cryptic infection on liver disease outcome, and hepatocellular carcinoma development remains unknown.

Conclusions: monitoring of Individuals with positive anti-HBc, mass immunization programs and improvement in diagnostic tools seem to be important to control the probability of transmission of HBV through cryptic HBV infection.

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